Friday’s Fast Five… 5 Simple Things My Life Has Taught Me

On Wednesday I turned 36 and found myself in my attic.

Let me explain.

As my wife and children, my parents and brothers milled about the living room I was sitting in the attic, alone, leafing through my old photo albums– doing my best Clark Griswold.clark

So I’m 36 now. Maybe it took 36 years for me to finally respect life. You know, the fragility, brevity and urgency of it all. Or maybe at 36, I’ve just come to appreciate the quiet stillness of a dusty attic.

Either way in those albums, I found a younger version of myself. A version that is both familiar and foreign.  The eyes, the smile, the full cheeks, the tilt of head– it’s me but a version I have to work to recognize.

Here I am— deep in thought and rocking some polyester overalls.

It wasn’t long ago that 36 seemed impossible. An unfathomable age. And I guess, in some ways I thought my life would be different at 36. I thought I would be more mature. I thought I would be more intelligent. I definitely thought I would have more money. Maybe even a jet ski. At 36, I never thought I would have an auto-immune disorder or love yoga or be a high school English teacher or author a blog.

Somehow it’s March 30, 1996 and someone downstairs shouts for me. The echo of my name calls me back. I close the album, tuck it away for another birthday and smile– knowing this is exactly how my life is suppose to be.

So for this–a rather nostalgic edition of Friday’s Fast Five I would like to share with you 5 simple things my life has taught me.



1. What WoFo has taught me…

Once you find the courage to be genuine and vulnerable people will begin listen.


2. What my wife has taught me… Listening is the best way to honor any relationship.

j and cin
Just a couple of kids in the spring of 1996







3. What aging has taught me…

Life gets a lot easier once you stop giving a shit about what other people think of you.


4. What fatherhood has taught me…kids

Watching my children play helps restore my faith in humanity.



5. What getting sick has taught me…

It’s only when you fully accept your tragic, inevitable death that you begin to understand the purpose of your life.



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